Mara, My Love On the forest fringe shadows grow long. Barred wooden shutters deny the call. Our fingers clasped together, locked, an indurate mutuality of flesh, of bone. Her silent lips refuse to name the hour, now rising in those conquered eyes. She kisses my hand, and strokes my cheek, disrobes and reveals her shapely form. And still, unbidden, the coils of lust stir as she walks out into the cold without one last glance, or feeling flinch. Yet I do not follow with shawl in hand, to drape across those shoulders bare. But bolt the door, slammed hard behind, with a fistful of iron and eyes tightly closed. Thoughts of my love, that tender soul, framed by a sudden, monstrous howl. ©AJM This poem was included in the The Northlore Series Volume One:Folklore, a collection of work inspired by Scandinavian folklore. Maras were a female race of werewolves.